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James W. Abert was an important explorer and scientist who called Kentucky home during the 1850s and for most of the period following the Civil War. At various times in his life Abert served as a government explorer in the southwest, an engineer for Ohio River navigational improvements, a military topographical engineer in the Mexican, Seminole, and Civil wars, a U.S. Examiner of Patents, a professor at two universities, and a land developer in northern Kentucky. His important contributions to the nation and to the state are often overlooked by scholars.
Each step of glycolysis is characterized by a specific enzyme that acts to catalyze a given reaction. Unique amongst these reactions is the enolase-catalyzed transformation of 2-phosphoglycerate into phosphoenolpyruvate by dehydration. Studies have shown enolase to have a dimeric structure in all eukaryotes whereas the enzyme has been observed to possess an octameric structure in some extreme thermophile prokaryotes. Though a definitive determination of molecular architecture has not been made, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that a tetrameric association of dimers is the most likely native form. This study has produced computational models for three mutation/deletion variants of the enzyme HL–S1 loop, which has been proposed as a contact point between the dimer subunits. Examination of these models with a dielectric constant of 40 has indicated a rapid deterioration of protein conformation; however, dielectric constants of 0 and 80 maintained overall structure. The study also showed that the deletion of residues 135–138 did not completely eliminate the alpha helix that was hypothesized to inhibit octameric structure.
The vascular flora of an abandoned limestone quarry adjacent to the Kentucky River in Clark County, Kentucky, was studied from 1993 through 1999. A total of 260 species in 181 genera from 64 families were found in five diverse habitats. Fifty-seven (21.9%) were Clark County distributional records. Seventy-three (28.1%) were exotic species; 22 of these are Kentucky naturalized invasive pest plants. Taxa are classified into Equisetophyta (2), Polypodiophyta (2), Pinophyta (1), and Magnoliophyta (255). Largest families were Asteraceae (43), Poaceae (30), Fabaceae (15), Cyperaceae (13), and Rosaceae (10). Two state-listed species, Liparis loeselii and Spiranthes lucida, were present in the quarry.
The vascular flora of the 49-year-old Indian Fort amphitheater, Berea College Forest, in Madison County, south-central Kentucky, was surveyed in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Seventy-four species in 55 genera from 30 families were present; 40 species (54.0%) were exotics. Life forms included 39 annual/biennials, 24 perennials, 6 woody vines, and 5 trees. Many taxa were ruderal weeds that had adapted to the open physical features and disturbed environmental conditions of the amphitheater. These plants typically have light-weight fruits and seeds dispersed by wind and water.
American mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) was observed on 1740 host trees from 12 species in 8 families in Garrard County, Kentucky. Juglans nigra was the predominant host tree; Prunus serotina, Ulmus americana, and Robinia pseudoacacia followed. These four host species accounted for 1560 (89.7%) of the total infested trees. American mistletoe exhibits an aggregated or clumped spatial distribution pattern among host trees, which is characteristic of its life history and avian method of dispersal. In density, the occurrence value was 3.33 infested trees per kilometer traveled.
Johan Linder (1676–1724), Swedish botanist and physician, is the eponym of the plant generic name Lindera (Lauraceae), dedicated to him in 1783 by Carl Peter Thunberg. The present account of Linder includes biographical data, comments on his position in the development of Swedish floristic botany, and discussion of his best-known botanical work, Flora Wiksbergensis (1716), the fourth printed account of Swedish local flora.
Assessment and comparison of the water quality of an agricultural creek (Ledbetter) and an undisturbed creek (Panther) emptying into Kentucky Lake, Kentucky and adjacent Tennessee, were conducted in July 2003 using biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) analyses. Terrestrial, gravel bar, and surface water samples were collected in sterile whirl-pak bags from the creeks and analyzed for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) content. Aliquots of samples were filtered and inoculated with creek microbes. Initial and final analyses were done using Oceanography-International Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with Infrared detector. The results show that the average BDOC concentration in Panther Creek (1.17 mg/liter; DOC = 2.50 mg/liter) was similar to that in Ledbetter Creek (0.87 mg/liter; DOC = 2.23 mg/liter). No clear DOC or BDOC trends were evident between the two creeks or well types sampled. Although results of the current study show no clear DOC or BDOC trends between the two creeks, it is important to monitor these creeks on a continual basis to maintain the quality of drinking water treatment and distribution systems.